Address at the 22nd International Arts Festival Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk

    Dear friends,

    For more than a dozen of times we meet here, in this blessed land, to declare the festival open.

    Born in Vitebsk, in the heart of the Slavonic world, our festival is the keeper of spiritual unity of a millions-strong Slavonic family which is the bearer of one of the most ancient and richest cultures.

    We, Slavonic brothers, should revive and promote our moral values all over the world. These are kindness, compassion, tolerance to people of various nationalities and beliefs, respect for human dignity, unwavering moral principles and traditions.

    Our festival makes a huge input in the realization of the humanitarian mission of the Slavonic people. There is a reason for the existence of the motto “Through art to peace and understanding”. In the time of its nascence the festival became part of the force that did not let destroy centuries-old brotherhood between Belarus, Russia and Ukraine in the period of historic change.

    Today the Slavonic Bazaar serves as one of the spiritual catalysts of integration in the entire post-Soviet space and even wider, in the Eurasian space.

    It occupies a special place in the constellation of international arts forums and has a full right to bear a title of “the festival of the festivals” representing a wide range of achievements of the global culture.

    The remarkable Summer Amphitheater which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year is a meeting place for the winners of Eurovision, New Wave, Sanremo and other song contests proving an old maxim that the language of songs is a language of friendship which a person can understand without translation. There are no borders and political barriers for the people infatuated with art.

    Just like a tree cannot survive without its roots, a person is nothing without friends. According to this folk wisdom, the festival gets tens and hundreds new friends every year. This year the festival is held on a global scale because it covers the entire world from Australia to Cuba and Venezuela.

    One of the central events of the festival will be the Concert of Friendship which will unite creative powers of various countries and peoples. Music contests will demonstrate a breathtaking competition of the best young voices of the planet and will contribute to the education of a new generation in the spirit of mutual respect and trust.

    The scale, creative variety and bright interweavement of languages and cultures at the Slavonic Bazaar will help make a significant input in the augmentation of spiritual richness and preservation of original national cultures.

    Dear friends,

    Following a good tradition, in the opening day of the Slavonic Bazaar we present a special prize “Through Art to Peace and Understanding”. It is bestowed upon great artists who have made a weighty contribution to fostering cultural cooperation between the nations.

    This year the award is conferred on the outstanding singer, Edita Piekha. I sincerely congratulate Edita Stanislavovna and wish her to remain such a charming, wonderful, talented lady as she has always been.

    I would like this year’s Slavonic Bazaar to exceed the dearest expectations of its participants and guests. I want it to become an unforgettable festival of art and friendship.

    Let the wonderful festival bring luck to the song contest participants, give a sea of flowers and ovation to artists, help guests become closer to art.

    Heath and happiness to you, dear friends!

    I announce the 22nd International Arts Festival Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk open!